Monday, January 27, 2020

Where In the World is Susan?

Q: The crime and mystery fiction we tend to read can be very US and Europe centric. Where else in the world would you like to see a crime fiction novel set and why?
-from Susan

I read a lot of crime fiction books set elsewhere: Laos, Bali, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, China, India, Botswana, El Salvador, Thailand, and Ghana* among the countries the crime novels I’ve read recently have been set in. 

I’m not sure how much US/Euro centric crime fiction is any more, which is wonderful because there is such richness in the settings and the story lines other cultures provide.  And it seems to me there are plenty of publishers who are open to taking on authors with different perspectives. 

Where else would I like to see a crime story set? I have an interest in Ethiopia, both historical and current, so I’d be intrigued by a work that deals with its complicated, often warring history, the tension between nomadic peoples and those who want grazing and farming land, the time of Haile Selassie…so much to draw on, especially if it’s written by someone who has lived their all or for a significant portion of her or his life.  

How about deep in South America? Has anyone written a crime fiction novel (at least one translated into English) set in Peru? I’d like to understand more about that country, its natural history, and its people, which a good story would give me.

There’s always more and I hope we are embracing as diverse a genre experience as possible going forward. The more, the better!

*Laos, Colin Cotterill; Bali, Nancy Tingley; Hong Kong, Michael Connelly; Taiwan, Ed Lin; Japan, Naomi Hirahara; China, Lisa Brackmann; India, Abir Mukherjee; Botswana, Alexander McCall Smith; El Salvador, David Corbett; Thailand, Tim Hallinan; Ghana, Kwei Quartey.


Paul D. Marks said...

I think your choices of Ethiopia and South America are good ones. I have a screenplay that was optioned but never produced set in S. America that I keep thinking of using as an outline for a novel. Maybe your comment will spur me to do it. It's not set in Peru but if I wanted to set it there my wife lived there for a year or two so I'd have some first hand knowledge to give it some verisimilitude.

Susan C Shea said...

Paul, sounds good, but I think a research trip to Peru is in order!

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Yes, Susan – the more, the better.